Late come­back rat­tles Bel­gium, but Scots come up just short

The Herald - Herald Sport - - UPDATE - SCOT­LAND 3 BEL­GIUM 4

MEN’S FOUR NA­TIONS TOUR­NA­MENT Bel­gium may be fifth in the world rank­ings to Scot­land’s 24th, but they only just edged vic­tory at the Glas­gow Na­tional Hockey Cen­tre in the open­ing game of the four na­tions tour­na­ment yes­ter­day, writes Craig Mad­den.

The Scots took a shock lead in seven min­utes; a lifted ball was poorly trapped by a Bel­gian de­fender and fell kindly to Kenny Bain, the Hur­ley striker, who calmly rounded the goal­keeper and slipped the ball home.

The Bel­gians struck back with two goals in as many min­utes mid­way through the half. First, a long ball was not cut out by the Scots de­fence and Tan­guy Cosyns de­flected it past Gavin Som­merville, be­fore Iain Scholefield il­le­gally stopped the ball on the line and Tom Boon fired into the net from the spot.

Bel­gium stepped up the pace af­ter the break and moved 4-1 ahead through Loick Luy­paert from a penalty cor­ner and Boon, but the Scots were not fin­ished. Six min­utes from time, they were awarded their first penalty cor­ner and Bain’s shot at goal was sweetly de­flected into the roof of the net by Chris Gras­sick.

The Bel­gian de­fence was then caught by a Gras­sick cross and Gary Cameron was left with a sim­ple tap in at the back post. ALYSON McKECHIN: opened with a tidy round of 72 back-nine with three suc­ces­sive birdies from the 10th en route to a five-un­der 70.

Lauren Whyte, the for­mer Scot­tish girls’ cham­pion from St An­drews, made an ex­plo­sive start with birdies at one and two be­fore fin­ish­ing with a flour­ish by mak­ing an ea­gle 3 on the 18th in an event­ful 72. Con­nie Jaf­frey, the tal­ented Troon teenager, opened with a 74 but it was a tor­rid day for Anne Laing, the for­mer Scot­tish cham­pion and Cur­tis Cup player, who strug­gled to a 92.

JUDO

Ed­in­burgh’s Sally Con­way missed out on a Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship medal in Mont­pel­lier, France, and had to set­tle for sev­enth place, writes Roddy Macken­zie. Chas­ing her first Euro­pean medal, she be­gan pos­i­tively when she beat the Rus­sian Irina Gazieva nBarry Mid­dle­ton, the Eng­land striker, cel­e­brated his 300th cap but his side failed to live up to ex­pec­ta­tion and were held to a 2-2 draw by Ar­gentina. Alistair Brog­don put Eng­land ahead in only three min­utes but Ar­gentina drew level through Manuel Brunet. Eng­land went 2-1 up in the sec­ond half with a penalty cor­ner re­bound shot from Mark Gleghorne but Agustin Mazz­illi waltzed past the English de­fence and slipped in a spec­tac­u­lar goal. by waza-ari and two yukos to reach the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Un­der-70kg event, but the world No.9 then lost to Fanny Posvite, from France, who had beaten her in the Paris Grand Slam ear­lier this year. That meant she could not win gold and left her com­pet­ing for a bronze medal in the repechage but she lost her first fight by a sin­gle shido to the Croat Bar­bara Matic, which ruled her out of medal con­tention.

ROW­ING

Top level ac­tion re­turns to Scot­land this weekend with the mam­moth Strath­clyde Park Re­gatta tak­ing place on Strath­clyde Loch, Scot­land’s Olympic-stan­dard course, writes Mike Hag­gerty. More than 100 races will be staged to­day and to­mor­row, with more than 500 crews rac­ing, from al­most ev­ery club in Scot­land, as well as vis­i­tors from Ire­land and Eng­land. Strath­clyde Park is cur­rently be­ing pre­pared as the triathlon venue for the Com­mon­wealth games later this sum­mer, which means that the row­ing course – usu­ally the Olympic dis­tance of 2000 me­tres – will be re­duced to 1500m. The event in­cor­po­rates the an­nual Scot­tish Uni­ver­si­ties’ Cham­pi­onships.

SHINTY

In­ver­aray hope to win the bat­tle of the south to­day, af­ter se­cur­ing the ser­vices of a player more ac­cus­tomed to foot­ball, writes Kenneth Stephen. The Win­ter­ton out­fit, who have strug­gled so far this sea­son, take on the Ma­caulay Cup hold­ers, Kyles Ath­letic, and in­cluded in their ranks will be John Kennedy, a tal­ented col­lege foot­baller who also has a knack with a ca­man. He re­turns from Scot­land from his a soc­cer schol­ar­ship in the USA and will play in the Artemis Ma­caulay Cup first-round tie in Ar­gyll. nThe women’s FIH Cham­pi­ons Chal­lenge event has been a happy hunt­ing ground for Gor­don Shepherd’s Scot­land over the past three years – they took bronze in 2011 and were fourth a year later – and he starts his third tour­na­ment with an open­ing fix­ture against Bel­gium to­mor­row.

Al­though the Bel­gians are 12th in the world rank­ings, four places above the Scots, Shepherd’s charges have the knack of punch­ing above their weight against more fan­cied

Garry Macpher­son, the player man­ager, said: “John played for Kil­mory a while back be­fore head­ing to the States on a foot­ball schol­ar­ship. He’s very fit, as you would ex­pect, but he’s also tall and has a real pres­ence so he will be a good ad­di­tion for us.”

Kyles pa­raded this tro­phy last term af­ter de­feat­ing New­ton­more in an ex­cel­lent fi­nal but have tra­di­tion­ally found In­ver­aray a tough nut to crack. In­ver­aray man­aged to get among the goals last week in the AJG Parcels Celtic So­ci­ety Cup and Macpher­son hopes that’s the fil­lip they need to progress.

In the other main tie, lower-league Kil­mallie face New­ton­more, the 2013 fi­nal­ists, at Canal Park.

SPEED­WAY

Ryan Fisher, the for­mer Ed­in­burgh Monar­chs No.1, will miss Peter­bor­ough Pan­thers’ Pre­mier League meet­ing at Glas­gow Tigers to­mor­row, hav­ing been or­dered to take a week’s rest af­ter suf­fer­ing a back prob­lem from a crash at Le­ices­ter Lions last weekend, writes Nigel Dun­can. Fisher ag­gra­vated the in­jury in Poland on Easter Mon­day and Pan­thers have booked in-form Richard Law­son, son of the Glas­gow leg­end Steve Law­son, to guest. Blayne Scrog­gins, Pan­thers co-man­ager, said: “It is a big blow for any club to be with­out their No 1, but we could not have a bet­ter guest than Richard who is in red-hot form. He is fly­ing in the Elite League and the Pre­mier League.” nEd­in­burgh Monar­chs’ open­ing Pre­mier League home meet­ing against Sh­effield Tigers last night had to be post­poned just half an hour be­fore tapes-up. Heavy rain which fell from 6.30pm gave the ref­eree no op­tion. Ber­wick Ban­dits host their old­est ri­vals New­cas­tle Di­a­mond tonight (7pm) in their Pre­mier League out­ing. sides. “We go into ev­ery game feel­ing we can get some­thing from it,” Shepherd said.

“If we play to our strengths and abil­ity then we can win against Bel­gium, but they are a very good team.

“The girls have worked hard in their full-time train­ing and the games last week gave a bit of con­fi­dence to our at­tack­ing play.”

To­mor­row’s other pool match is be­tween the two tour­na­ment favourites, South Korea and In­dia.

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